Abstract In the vastchanging world where competition is at its peak, it is important for a brand tocreate its brand loyalty in such a way that a consumer remains faithful to thatparticular brand irrespective to the competitors’ pressures and purchases thatparticular brand’s product only. In respect to this a brand must providepositive feelings to its consumers which will create a response of repurchasingof the same product and that are where brand loyalty lies.
This sectioncontains the exhausted literature reviews and some previous studies which wereconducted on 5 variables: brand identification, brand affect, symbolic need,brand loyalty and self-congruency. The basic purpose of these studies was todetermine the impact of brand identification, brand affect, symbolic need andself-congruency on brand loyalty. Moreover, these studies serve to provideknowledge about the importance of these variables in creating brand loyalty inthe Hotel Industry.
Key words: Brand identification, Brandaffects, Symbolic need, Brand loyalty and Self-congruency, Hotel Industry. 1.Introduction: This study is about how brand loyalty is affected by brandidentification, brand affect, and symbolic need. The purpose of this study isto prove the positive and negative impact of these variables. This studyfurther elaborates how hotel industry provides symbolic needs (status, benefitsand food quality) with which customers identify themselves because people usethe brands which represent their social status and their self-image is alsovery important when they choose restaurants and everyone wants good qualityfood, healthy food as well. Hotels are not only the place of dinning but peoplevisit hotels for meetings, social gathering which are most important aspect.
Identification plays an essential role inpromoting a sense of belonging to a specific group along with creating a strongemotional attachment to a brand (Stephenson & Yerger, 2014). Through identification, a very significant bond orconnection is produced between the individuals and the brand to whichindividuals feel connected (Rubio, Villasenor & Oubina, 2014). In order to construct one’sidentity of a particular brand, an increase in the purchase and consumption ofthe brand takes place (Becerra & Badrinarayanan, 2013).
The theory on which brandidentification is based is social identity theory (Kuenzel & Halliday,2010). As Taifel and Turner (1985) further suggested that if differentindividuals want to express themselves as participants of a special socialgroup, they behave like this for their selfesteem or pride (as cited in Kuenzel& Halliday, 2010). Whereas, in the context of understanding consumerbehavior; social identity theory comes really handy because not every consumerneed is as same as the other consumers but still they portray themselves aspart of a group (Kuenzel & Halliday, 2010). According to Kuenzel andHalliday (2008), satisfaction is the main component that confirms the socialidentity and inspires a supportive behavior. Because individuals only feels asense of fulfilment with an organization when they’re expectations are met.Belk (1988) and Schau and Gilly (2003) also elaborated how symbolic resourcesof brands are used by consumers in order to create a sense of self and build theiridentities (as cited in Lam, Ahearne, Mullins, Hayati & Schillewaert,2013).It is known that brands which makes people happy and gives them goodfeelings, as a result people intend to be loyal towards those particular brandswhich leads to brand effect (Mazler, Bidmon, & Grabner-Krauter, 2008) Weinvestigated two aspects in brand affect in personality traits Hedonic valuesand personality traits. Lewis (1981) agrees to the fact that consumers choosehotel that fulfils symbolic need which caters five factors: price; foodquality; menu variety; atmosphere; and convenience factors.
If a hotel has a positivereputation among its customers due to its superior quality, customers will putmore of their trust into the restaurant’s product/service offerings (Chang,2013). While establishing and structuring the framework of superior brandrelationship, brand affect plays the role as a forerunner of brand loyalty(Kuenzel & Halliday, 2008). From a hotels’s perspective, customers whooften visit specific hotels actually communicate their social identity tosocial groups by identifying themselves with the hotels brand (Han, Nguyen& Simki, 2016). Interestingly, symbolic and functional benefits like statusand food quality are now provided by different restaurants to its consumers(Han et al., 2016). For a consumer to express his symbolic needs, theconsumption of products/services increases accordingly. As a result, brandloyalty mediated by customer involvement (Goode, 2001).
Therefore, hotels persistentlystrive to make customers loyal to their brand because it serves as acompetitive edge to them by creating a unique brand identity. 2. Literature Review Previous Studies: Kuenzel & Halliday’s, (2010) studyon brand identification: This literaturereview explains that brand identification is basically a company’s identitythrough this a company can maximize its profit. It’s an element whichdifferentiates any brand within the minds of the consumers.
This previous studyshows that how brand identification is important to promote brand. Consumerswho knows a brand and identifies the firm, purchases more products of thatbrand and suggests those brands to others. They also create positivewordof-mouth because consumers are the ones who promotes the brand and showshow loyal they are with that particular brand. According to the aforesaiddiscussion when a consumer fully identifies a particular brand and creates asense of belongingness because of the brand within a particular society, he/shebecomes loyal to that particular brand (Kuenzel & Halliday, 2010). Sung,Nguyen & Simkin’s, (2016) study on brand affect: This study showsthat brand affect is an important factor of creating brand loyalty. Ifcustomers are happy and they have positive feelings about the brand, then theywill also recommend that particular brand to their families and friends. Itmeans they are loyal to the brand.
According to some scholars, they havesuggested that consumers’ emotions are very important as it has an effect onconsumers’ behavioral intensions (Sung, Nguyen & Simkin, 2016). O’Cass& Siahtiri’s, (2014) study on symbolic need: This literaturereview sheds light on symbolic consumption which depends on consumer’s desire,lifestyle and personality. Through symbolic consumption a consumer fulfilshis/her symbolic needs. The previous study shows that symbolic need is animportant part of consumer while choosing various products or services. Itsuggests that most consumers have a strong bond with those products that caterstheir social status, class and emotional attachments. Thus it has a directeffect on brand loyalty when a consumer choose a certain product and remainsfaithful to it. This creates a positive and repetitive behavior of consumer forthe brand.
According to the abovementioned discussion it could be furtherconcluded that in order to fulfil certain symbolic needs, consumption takesplace which is known to be symbolic consumption and when a consumer startsconsuming a brand repeatedly, he/she becomes loyal towards the brand (O’Cass& Siahtiri, 2014). 2.1. Independent variable 1 (I.V) relationwith dependent variable: Brand Identity is positively proportionalto the Brand loyalty. 2.2.
Independent variable 2 (I.V) relationswith dependent variable:BrandAffect is positively proportional to the Brand loyalty.2.3.
Independent variable 3 (I.V) relationswith dependent variable: Symbolic Need is positively proportional to the Brand loyalty. 3. Methodology:3.1.
Research design: Statement of the Problem: One of the most crucialquestions posed in marketing is how to create a company’s brand loyalty toincrease any business performance. According to the previous researchers, ahotel’s brand reputation places a significant effect on consumer’s satisfactionwhich thereby leads to brand loyalty. Research Model: H3 (+ve) H2 (+ve) BRAND LOYALTY SYMBOLIC NEED BRAND AFFECT 3.2. Population: Theselected population for this study was Hotel Industry of the Pakistan providingservices in country.
3.3. Sample (Target sector):Inthis research, we chose on simple random sampling technique, because therespondents who were to participate were selected on the basis of a generalabove mentioned criteria that the respondents must be Hotel employees andcustomer. 80 Questionnaires were distributed to employees and 50 to customers.The duly completed response was received from employees were 50 and fromcustomers were 20. In orderto get accurate information from the respondents, the questionnaires were keptanonymous.